Arts forum to be held in Sechelt

Staff, volunteers and board members of Sunshine Coast arts and culture organizations will get a chance to learn new tips, brush up their skills and do some networking at a community cultural forum to be held in Sechelt on Friday, March 1.

The forum, offered by Arts BC, will be a day-long professional development program at the Seaside Centre. It’s been organized by Siobhan Smith, the District of Sechelt’s Arts, Culture and Communications Coordinator.

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“I spent some time going back and forth with Arts BC to see which topics would make sense,” Smith said in an interview. “Then I also sent out a memo to a handful of organizations that I knew locally that might be interested, to get an idea of what they are really looking for.”

Issues to do with boards of directors are particularly important, Smith said. “That’s one of the harder things, to recruit good board members and to keep them.” Smith said the outreach effort confirmed there is a need for help with board governance. Other topics will include organizational development, fundraising and sponsorship; writing contracts; and non-profit insurance.

Linda Williams of Coast Cultural Alliance said she’s looking forward to attending.

“As an arts organizer I find having the opportunity to attend a cultural forum like this in our own community is a real bonus,” Williams said. “As members in the non-profit sector it gives us a chance to revisit the ever-changing dynamics in professional development.”

Although the forum is aimed primarily at organizations, Smith noted that the section on contracts and memorandums of understanding “could be of interest to individual artists and musicians.”

The forum will be led by Nanaimo-based arts management consultant Patricia Huntsman, a director with Arts BC, which is a province-wide network of artists and arts and culture organizations.

“It is often a challenge to fit all of the content in that we would like to cover, but in Sechelt’s case, the topic areas are similar to those communities where they simply require an annual or bi-annual update or brushing up on non-profit arts administration,” Huntsman told Coast Reporter.

“There is often turnover in arts and cultural management both at staff and volunteer levels, so the forum provides an opportunity to make new connections and access current practices, tips and tools.”

The forum runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Lunch is included with the $25 advance ticket, which can be ordered online by following the links at

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